A while back we wrote about troubling calls people were receiving from persons claiming to be the IRS. These calls often demanded instant payment or threats of jail time.  A break in the case identified the individuals responsible for these IRS Scams, living right here in the United States. According to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General, two residents of Bristol, Connecticut were recently arrested for impersonating IRS employees.

Upon getting one of these calls, it can be very easy to be scared into believing the claims made by the caller. Speaking with authority and using official terms makes the scam much more believable. These callers have honed their skills nearly as well as a pushy sales person.  Coupled with intimidation tactics they force a customer into buying goods or services.

After discussing these calls with law enforcement, the determination was that the calls were “spoofed”. Caller ID spoofing is the practice of causing the telephone network to indicate to the receiver of a call that a call is coming from someplace other than the actual point of origin. A Caller ID displays a phone number different from that of the telephone placing the call. These calls usually display the 202 area code normally associated with calls originating from Washington DC.

In the beginning, ignoring the calls was the standard advice. Over time the calls became more and more frequent, making them difficult to ignore.  Now there is someone to contact:

U.S. Treasury Tax Inspector General
Federal Trade Commission @ ftccomplianceassistant.gov

Most people had been made aware of this SCAM, unfortunately, a target group of emigrants threatened with deportation were not. Thousands of people have lost hundreds of millions of dollars to these crooks. Take a look.

It is important for taxpayers to know how to avoid IRS scams:
  • Does not ask for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
  • Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
  • The IRS will not request immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.

If contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS regarding making a payment hang up immediately and notify the authorities.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that the IRS doesn’t make house calls!